Ice Cream Scoops

Ice Cream Scoops – Old and New

variety of old ice cream scoops
Left to right: Conical scoop with interior wiper that’s moved with a twist of the top finial; Peerless ice cream scoop size 12; Hamilton Beach ice cream scoop size 16; aluminum “short’ning and ice cream spoon” in one; Nuroll ice cream scoop; cookie scoop also used for ice cream.

Ice cream scoops range from simple to more complex…from round to square to triangular. From vintage or antique and expensive to new and affordable.

Half-round scoops with a lever that operates a metal scraper to separate the ice cream from the bowl of the scoop can be found in a variety of sizes. Many of the older collectible ice cream scoops like Gilchrist, Peerless, Hamilton Beach and others, have that size marked on the inside of the scraper. Sizes vary from 18 (small bowl) to 6 (large bowl). 

But that doesn’t seem to make sense, does it? Why is a small bowl scoop a larger number than a large bowl scoop?

The ice cream scoop ‘size’ of each standard ice cream scoop was actually set to let users know how many scoops they could expect from a quart using that particular size. So a size 18 scoop with it’s smaller bowl tells you that you should get 18 scoops from a quart with that scoop. The larger bowl, of course, would get fewer scoops…six in this case…so it’s a size 6.

If you’re in the market for these collectible ice cream scoops in different shapes and sizes, you can find a wonderful selection in nearly every size at reasonable prices online today. Just make sure the scoop has all of its parts and is in good working shape.

And if you’d like to know where and what the different pieces of a scoop are, and where to find the size versus the model, click here to see what the parts of a conventional ice cream scoop are called.

The new, less expensive scoops do not have such a wonderful variety of sizes nor do they have a size stamped into the scraper. For the most part they are a fairly standard size that work well serving in bowls and cones today though you may need more scoops for some waffle cones in order to fill them edge to edge.

If you’re left-handed then you will find these scoops difficult to use since they are made with the scraper on the right side. Scooping along that side could damage the scraper over time. There were some old scoops actually made for lefties (bless those manufacturers!) but they are very rare and very expensive.

The wiper-less semi-round scoop is what I, a lefty, use most of the time for my personal indulgences because it’s stupid-simple to use, sturdy and easy to clean. Zeroll makes these scoops and they’re very popular. There’s nothing on it to break. You can make nice ice cream curls with this scoop. Solid balls are a little trickier but with the aid of a spoon to help form the balls, it can be done.

Other scoops available today are still the good old half ball with wiper conventional style, and other makes of semi-scoops.Modern Ice Cream Scoops There are also new Push-Button ice cream scoops that push the ice cream out of the scoop with the press of a button.

Some people enjoy using the smaller sizes of cookie scoops. These make adorable balls of ice cream for additions to drinks, served as single bites, or decorations for cakes and parties. This style of scoop was originally made by Gilchrist as an ice cream scoop and retains its popularity today for many uses.